Friday, July 30, 2021
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Mike Havlik

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In the Randy Travis song, “Deeper Than the Holler,” the country crooner uses natural phenomena to describe how grand is his love for his significant other. In the final line of the refrain, the lover says he will love...
This week’s Gift of Bird Watching is a conservation success story: the Osprey. These eagle-sized, fish-eating birds of prey vanished from Iowa before European settlement. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was instrumental in bringing them back to the landscape. At...
I was walking the dog this weekend in rural southern Iowa and heard one of my favorite bird calls of all time: the Bobolink. Their playful, bouncy call sounds like a 1970’s idea of what computers would sound like in...
We have been posting a "Gift of Bird Watching" column every week recently because the birds now arriving are creating an identification bottleneck! This week’s species is the indigo bunting, which is very common along the Raccoon River Valley Trail...
Even if you can’t name the rose-breasted grosbeak, you most likely have identified one. The “red bib,” juxtaposed against a white belly and black throat, is visually arousing. Red, more than any other color, creates a physiological response in people. The...
Is there another sight or sound as glorious as the Baltimore Oriole’s arrival? This week’s "Gift of bird watching" is the exclamation point that spring is here! The bright orange males can be heard high in the treetops with a single, slurred...
“Killy-killy-killy!" A dove-sized falcon swoops up from the ditch and lands on a power line, pumping his tail three times. This week’s Gift of Bird Watching species is the American kestrel, one of the most visually stunning birds you will...
Imagine being in your yard, enjoying the first warm days of spring, when a swarm of raucous voices pours in from the sky like a school bus full of unsupervised middle school students. They shout simultaneously back and forth...
This week’s Gift of Bird Watching species is the American woodcock. If you have never witnessed this bird’s sky dance in early spring, you are missing out on a real treat! Find a forested area with a large clearing, and...
“Spring is coming soon. . . . Spring is coming soon.” The optimistic song of the Eastern meadowlark signals the changing of seasons. This week’s Birding Gift is found in open country. These are bright yellow, football-shaped birds with a...